The average residential garage door is pretty well understood, particularly when it comes to standard dimensions. If you have a one‑car garage, the door is probably eight or nine feet wide, and maybe seven or eight feet tall. If you have a two‑car garage, the height is about the same, but the door is probably between 14 and 18 feet wide.
That’s more than ample for parking most cars, but what about sports utility vehicles (SUVs)? Or, you might be wondering what the right height is for a garage door if you’ll be parking a recreational vehicle (RV)? Most SUVs are a standard width, so it’s really more about height. With RVs, there is an excellent chance that a standard garage door is just not going to be enough.
In this post, we will explore the topic of choosing the right garage door for your vehicle. We recommend that you bear this in mind if you’ll building a new garage, whether that’s an attached or detached garage, or if you’re thinking about buying either an SUV or an RV and parking it in your garage.
What You Need to Know about Parking SUVs
The average SUV is a specific width, but they can vary a lot in height. In fact, you’ll find models as short as 5.5 feet (1.675 m) and as tall as 6.1 feet (1.845 m). It sounds like a 7‑foot garage door might be more than enough, and in many cases, it is. However, what if you decide at some point that you want to install a luggage rack on your SUV? These can add 6 inches or more to the height. So, our recommendation is that you have an 8‑foot door (2.4 m).
You will also need to consider the length of the SUV. It should not be a problem, but we recommend measuring your SUV to make sure. SUVs can be as long as 15.4 feet (4.7 m) or even 16.9 feet (5.1 m). You’ll also need to think about how wide the doors will need to open so you can get in and out of the vehicle while in your garage. It may be necessary to move a few things around to make that easier.
What You Need to Know about RVs
When it comes to RVs, you’ll find that they can be up to 9.5 feet tall. In addition, most of them have air conditioners mounted to the roof, which can extend their height by a significant amount. Other RVs may have additional height issues – satellite dishes, luggage racks, and even solar panels. Buying an RV means that you need to be conscious about how tall it is. Just regular use on the roads can put you in danger of hitting obstructions. The lowest overpasses and bridges are only 13.5 feet off the road, and that doesn’t even count things like restaurant drive‑throughs, bank teller lanes and the like.
You will find that RV‑specific garage doors are a minimum of 12 feet tall (3.5 m). You will also want one that is between 10 and 12 feet (3 to 3.6 m) wide. You will also find that most attached garages are just too short. In most instances, a detached garage must be constructed to house an RV, simply because they are so tall.
If you’re thinking of a fifth wheel style camper, one pulled by a pickup truck, then height is probably not going to be an issue, but it may be if there are air conditioners or other roof‑mounted obstructions. Length is more than likely going to be your largest challenge. They can vary between 22 feet (6.70 m) and 40 feet (12.2 m).
Measuring a Garage Door
Before buying an RV or an SUV, you need to measure the length and width of your garage door. It’s easy to do. You’ll need a measuring tape, and a way to write down your measurements.
Measure from the inside of one door jamb to the other. For height, measure from the floor to the lintel. For those building a new garage, you will want to pay close attention to the headroom over the door. Include any obstructions in your measurements (ductwork, trusses, etc.).
The Help You Need
If you’ve got questions, we have answers. Just contact us, we have years of experience working with SUV and RV owners to get the perfect solution for their needs and budget. You can talk to us over the phone, or we can send you a quote by email. Feel free to stop by in person, too. If you’re looking for door inspiration, check out our Design Centre, as well as our image gallery.